Delaware County is a somewhat smaller county surrounding the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The county has a population of over 500,000 residents. The Delaware County Court of Common Pleas holds legal jurisdiction over the county. The court handles all matters of Family Law in its Domestic Relations division. This also includes filing for Protection From Abuse orders, and other resources for victims of abuse. The process for filing relies on a few steps, though it is streamlined so that filing can be done at the court in a simple process. Delaware County also has a process for emergency PFA filings as well, if the court is not in session when a person requires a PFA order.
Filing For Protection From Abuse Orders in Delaware County
Filing for a Protection From Abuse in Delaware County is a multi-step process. First, the court must be petitioned for the order. At this stage, the victim of abuse seeking protection will be known as the "petitioner." If the court is not currently in session, and the situation is an emergency, the request for a PFA order will be directed to a District Judge. This PFA order will usually last until the next business day. When filing for an emergency PFA, the petitioner must be available to speak with a judge that same day. Once an emergency PFA is filed, the petitioner must attend court during normal business hours to solidify a temporary PFA order. Once a temporary PFA order is complete, it is advisable to have the police serve it to the defendant. The next step in the process is to await a PFA hearing. Even if the emergency and temporary PFA orders are denied by the judge initially, petitioners will still be able to attend a PFA hearing to present their case to a judge. PFA hearings are normally done on Thursdays. The matter will then proceed to a hearing with a judge where both sides may present evidence and testimony to support their case. If the judge rules in the petitioner's favor, a "permanent" or "final" PFA order will be drafted and signed.
PFA hearings in front of a judge will be evidentiary and testimonial in nature. For this reason, it is important to have a lawyer present who can advise the petitioner, and help present the case in court. Attorneys can work to help a petitioner's chances of obtaining a PFA in court. PFA hearings allow the alleged abuser / defendant a chance to defend themselves against the petitioner's claims, and they should have a lawyer to support them. Although a PFA can be filed with relative ease, an attorney, when representing the petitioner, can help turn a temporary PFA into a permanent order at a hearing. When representing the defendant at a PFA hearing, an attorney can have a temporary PFA dismissed, and/or the petitioner's request for a final PFA order denied.
If you or a loved one is seeking a PFA order or is engaged in other matters of Family Law in Delaware County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.